Oltchim bidders invited to buy debt-free version of firm: ministry

21 November 2013 13:50  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Bidders in the privatisation of Romania's Oltchim will be invited to purchase a debt-free version of the company called Oltchim II, Romania's economy ministry said on Thursday.

Oltchim's substantial debts, amounting to hundreds of millions of euros, would be ring-fenced in the existing company structure and paid down with proceeds received from the sale of Oltchim II, it added.

Various entities have expressed an interest in acquiring Oltchim II in the privatisation, the ministry said.

On Wednesday, the ministry announced that the Moscow-based Oil Gas Trade company had made an informal offer to take over Oltchim, the largest Romanian chemical producer, with a bid that would include the investment of €300m ($400m) in re-establishing the company as a successful petrochemical producer.

The economy ministry, which holds a controlling stake in Oltchim of 54.8%, entered the company into insolvency proceedings in January after an attempt at privatising it last year collapsed.

Sources at the company say a lack of feedstock and working capital have caused its production output rate to fall to around 20% of capacity.

Oltchim's product slate includes polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyols, dioctyl phthalate (DOP) and caustic soda.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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